MUSICAL duo Ninebarrow are planting 1,000 trees after they calculated the environmental impact of their touring.

Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere are planting 1,000 native English trees and 200 shrubs to form ‘The Ninebarrow Woodland’.

The pair, who are both from Dorset, were shocked to discover how much damage to the environment their touring was doing and are now fulfilling a long-held wish to address their carbon footprint.

Mr Whitely said: “Jay and I have long had concerns about the impact our touring has on the environment. In a normal year, we’d drive more than 10,000 miles across the country and that alone is a frightening thought in terms of the carbon footprint it creates.

“One wet Sunday afternoon, we started thinking about the fact that Ninebarrow’s carbon footprint is generated not only by us but also by the audiences that travel to come and see us play.

“It was a shock to discover that across our musical careers, which started in 2012 and might, if we are lucky, span some 25-30 years, we would generate nearly 1,000 tonnes of Co2.”

The planting is being done on three acres of land near Gillingham; the ambitious project will see saplings of 10 different species planted, half of which will be English oaks.

Mr Whitley said: “Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions, we’ve had no option but to scale-back our plans to have volunteers helping us plant the woodland in order to keep everyone safe. So, it’ll just be Jay and I, in addition to the landowners, Vicki and Kevin, who will also be helping. “

The duo made an application to The Woodland Trust MORE Woods scheme and were delighted when the Trust agreed to cover 75% of the costs of planting 1000 native broad-leaved trees and 200 shrubs on this piece of land. The remaining costs were covered by a crowdfunder among their fans.

Emma Briggs, senior project lead for woodland creation at the Woodland Trust, said: "We were delighted to help Ninebarrow plant trees through our flagship woodland creation scheme, MOREwoods. We need more trees. They're our biggest natural warriors in the fight against climate change but also bring so many other benefits, such as improving soil and water quality, providing shelter for livestock, a haven for wildlife and a place for people to enjoy."

The pair, who were nominated for Best Emerging Act at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are known for their stand-out songs inspired by Dorset and the great outdoors and, until the coronavirus outbreak, had a busy UK touring schedule.

Ninebarrow's new album, A Pocket Full of Acorns, will be released on Friday March 5.